|Local MP Justine Greening Writes To Putney|
Night flights, pollution, Putney station upgrade & more
It’s been a very busy few weeks since Parliament returned from Christmas recess. I’ve been travelling overseas in my new role as Secretary of State for International Development to Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait and Liberia. Nevertheless, locally I’ve been busy working hard on some of the issues facing our constituency, including pollution in Putney High Street and night flights at Heathrow. I’ve also met with Putney Police Inspector, Matt Snowden, and opened the new Jobcentre Plus in Wandsworth so read on for an update....
Heathrow Night Flight Consultation
Lots of residents get in touch with me concerned about aircraft noise from night flights, particularly the really early 4am flights. I wanted to let you know that the Government has recently launched the first of two consultations on night flying restrictions at Heathrow airport. This consultation looks at the effectiveness of the current regime and importantly looks at the costs of night flights to communities like ours that suffer noise disruption, verses the benefits of these night flights.
The views gathered from this consultation will form the Government’s proposals for the new regime, such as the number of permitted night flights. The Government will then publish a second consultation later in the year so communities like ours can comment on the specific proposals put forward.
I will be responding to the consultation as our local MP but the more people that have their say, the better. The consultation closes on 22nd April 2013, and you can find out more information online here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-consultation. If you copy me in to your response I can reflect the issues in my own MP response as well.
Pollution in Putney High Street
I know residents are rightly concerned about the level of air pollution in Putney High Street, particularly those who live in the roads nearby, and the Putney Society has done very helpful work that shows how big the problem is. The main source of pollution in the high street is traffic and particularly buses. I have been working hard with Richard Tracey, our London Assembly Member, to press TfL to introduce low emission buses on the routes that serve Putney High Street. It is a step forward that Transport for London has now replaced 46 buses that serve Putney High Street with newer greener and hybrid buses, and has started retrofitting 85 buses with pollution reducing equipment that will reduce emissions by 70%. Even so, more need to be done and extra low emission buses are planned to be introduced in June 2013, which is great.
I have also asked the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson for a meeting to discuss what measures can be taken locally to improve the situation, and I will let SW15 readers know how it goes.
Putney Police Station
As our local MP, my primary concern is about making sure Putney is properly policed and residents can feel safe whether they are at home or out locally. I have recently met with Putney Police Inspector Matt Snowden to discuss the proposals to close the front counter at Putney police station.
Inspector Snowden informed me that increasingly residents use their local safer neighbourhood team or other ways to contact the police, like the online crime reporting facility or the Wandsworth police website and over the phone.
The police are looking at ways to be more accessible and particularly locating themselves in public places such as the Putney Exchange, the Southside Shopping Centre, and the ASDA supermarket in Roehampton.
My desire is to see more police out in our community which will mean more people get a chance to raise issues with them. I will do my best to make sure our local police continue to be accessible and maintain their established presence in our local communities.
I am also meeting with Wandsworth Borough Commander, Chief Superintendant David Chinchen, to discuss this further and if residents have any views about the plans do let me know and I’ll do my best to raise them directly with Chief Superintendant Chinchen.
Putney Station Upgrade Works
The £9 million redevelopment of Putney Station has also finally started, which is fantastic. It’s the second largest Access for All station scheme in the country. The upgrade will see the station concourse expanded, 3 lifts installed, 2 new wide accessible ticket gates, better toilet facilities, and extended platform canopies, making the station much easier for residents to use.
Work has begun and should be completed by spring 2014. Network Rail has confirmed there will be no extra weekend closures to those already planned for necessary works on the railway lines.
Some disruption is inevitable - I have already spoken to Network Rail about the need to make sure it is kept to an absolute minimum and that residents nearby and commuters know what building work is happening and when. Some nearby residents have already been in touch with me about disruption from noisy works taking place during the night and I am following this up with Network Rail.
Out and About
Today I opened the new Post Office at 197 Upper Richmond Road, which looks great and will offer a much better service to residents. I’ve also met with Council Leader Ravi Govindia to discuss the regeneration plans for Roehampton, and I opened the new Jobcentre Plus in Wandsworth, which has much better new facilities to help people back in to work. A couple of weeks ago, I met with students from Ashcroft Technology Academy in Parliament and I met with local photographer Andrew Wilson, to find out about his recently published photo collection book called ‘Wild about Putney’, which is fantastic!
If you ever need my help please don't hesitate to contact me either by email at email@example.com or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you could come along to one of my MP surgeries. To find out where my next MP surgery is just give my office a call on 020 8946 4557.
Justine Greening MP
February 15, 2013